Collective Wisdom Initiative


The myths that link you to your social group, the tribal myths, affirm that you are an organ of the larger organism.
Society itself is an organ of a larger organism which is the landscape, the world in which the tribe moves.
The main theme in ritual is the linking of the individual to a larger morphological structure than that of his own physical body...
- Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth -

see previous quotes

Welcome! This website has been created to help make visible an emerging field of collective wisdom, its study and practice. It came into being in 2002 with support of the Fetzer Institute and has evolved to the form you see today by the support and contributions of hundreds of people and organizations who have, for decades, been actively engaged in this field.

DECLARATION of INTENT: We believe there exists a field of collective consciousness — often seen and expressed through metaphor — that is real and influential, yet invisible. When we come into alignment with this field, there is a deeper understanding of our connection with others, with life, and with a source of collective wisdom. The work is on-going and dynamic. We are calling into awareness this field of collective consciousness and invite you to join us in building this discipline of collective wisdom, its study and practice... [continued]

How it Began: The Collective Wisdom Initiative began with the publication of Centered on the Edge, an Inquiry into group wisdom. This inquiry developed into an exploration of ten arenas of collective wisdom, represented by the Doorways you see on the left. All of the content to be found on this website is contributed by people who are living, studying, or practicing in the field of collective wisdom.

How it Continues: The Collective Wisdom Initiative continues through the contributions made on this site and elsewhere. A recent outgrowth of the Collective Wisdom Initiative is a small book, The Power of Collective Wisdom, crafted by four stewards of the initiative. Stories and historical examples throughout this work serve to illuminate and illustrate how collective wisdom is emerging in a range of settings and through the lives and traditions of varied cultures and thought leaders.

CONNECTIONS: Connect with others by visiting People, exploring Places, or by participating in Events. You are invited to add to what is available on this site by contributing a Self-Portrait or suggesting content.

GETTING AROUND: This site is richly inter-connected, and in addition to the links in bold type, almost any graphic image or photo can be clicked on to take you to another part of the site. For some tips about how to best make use of this site, click on "Getting Around". We hope you enjoy your journey through and beyond this site...

CONTACT CWI: You are invited to contact the stewards of the Collective Wisdom Initiative with comments or suggestions. Just click on the yellow "Contact CWI" icon wherever you see it.